Topic: Measurement of Employee Engagement

Author(s), Title and Publication

Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 600-619.


Based on Social Exchange Theory, this study tested a model of the antecedents and consequences of employee job engagement and employee organization engagement. The researchers surveyed 102 employees working in a variety of jobs and organizations by measuring job and organization engagements, as well as antecedents (job characteristics, perceived organizational support, perceived supervisor support, rewards and recognition, procedural justice, and distributive justice) and consequences (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intention to quit, and organizational citizenship behavior) of employee engagement.

Results of the survey indicated significant relationships among antecedents, employee engagement, and consequences. Results revealed that job and organization engagements are related but distinct constructs, and participants were more engaged with their jobs than with their organizations. This study also identified a number of predictors of employee engagement. For example, perceived organizational support predicts both job and organization engagements; job characteristics predict job engagement; and procedural justice predicts organization engagement. In addition, employee engagement was related to employees’ attitudes, intentions, and behaviors, or consequences in the study, and job and organization engagement mediated the relationships between the antecedents and consequences. Due to the limitations of the survey method, findings of this study cannot conclude that antecedents cause engagement, or that engagement causes the consequences. Further experimental studies are required.

Implications for Practice

Organizations that wish to improve employee engagement should: 1) focus on employees’ perceptions of the support they receive from their organization; 2) understand the importance of social exchange, and provide employees with resources and benefits that will oblige them to reciprocate with higher levels of engagement; 3) understand that employee engagement is a long-term and on-going process that requires continued interactions over time; and 4) view engagement as a broad organizational and cultural strategy that involves all levels of the organization, including leaders who model the way.

Location of Article

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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